ST. LOUIS, Mo. — After a sixth Mets player in an already contentious series was hit by a pitch, Cardinals star third baseman Nolan Arenado knew what was coming before he even stepped into the box in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game. So, too, did St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol.

However, when Yoan López’s 94 mph pitch came high and inside, Arenado took exception to a pitch that he deemed to be dangerous and challenged the Mets pitcher verbally. Soon afterward, both benches emptied and unloaded some of the brewing tension that had been building throughout the three-game series. The Mets were understandably irate about six of their hitters being plunked, most notably slugger Pete Alonso, who was hit in the helmet on Tuesday on a two-strike changeup. Meanwhile, the Cardinals had plenty of frustration from their first three-game skid and series loss of the season and came out with a noticeable edge in Wednesday’s 10-5 win.